With week five in the books and the Chicago Bears record at 3-2 they are exactly where I hoped they’d be at this point in the season. As far as any preseason expectations I might have had. This is just about as good a record any Bears fan could have hoped going into their bye week.
Any concerns I had about Chuck Pagano taking over play calling duties for this defense were quelled after the first few series in Week 1. The defense is even better than advertised. This defense is among the most best in the league, and features one of the most disruptive forces in football, Khalil Mack, and proven depth on all three levels. A seemingly endless parade of lineman reestablishing the line of scrimmage. A group of linebackers able to play fast, and not to mention a bunch of ball hawks in the secondary. The only concern for this defense is the health of Akiem Hicks. I’d assume he’s out for the foreseeable future. An injury like that, for a guy doing what he’s does for a living might be bad news.
The offense on the other hand has not laid any concerns to rest after the first five weeks. Whether it’s the quarterbacks, the line play, lack of consistent play from any skill position players. Especially at the quarterback position this team still has more answers than questions going into the bye. Most notably as it pertains to former overall number 2 pick Mitchell Trubisky.
Chase Daniel is no Mitchell Trubisky
The uncertainty at the most important position in the NFL might be great for a team that features this dominant of a defense. If you’ll indulge my own delusional thiking for a moment. Right now, I can’t definitively tell you that Mitchell Trubisky is better than Chase Daniel. But, I can’t say that he’s not worse either. That being said, I think it is quite telling that when Trubisky went down early in Week 4 no one on the field, in the crowd, at Halas Hall, or even the most optimistic of fans didn’t go into panic mode. I assumed GM Ryan Pace had a contingency plan in place if either of his quarterbacks went down. Guess I’m wrong.
Any Free Agents out there?Open competition till the end of season
It’ll be interesting to see what Matt Nagy, Harry Hiestand, and Mark Helfrich come up with in terms of a solution to the lack of consistent offensive play. The only thing keeping this team from legitimacy in the NFL is their inconsistent play across the offense. The players on the field, the plays being called, the lack of starting fast is hurting this team. A few first downs to begin each game is a problem. Big plays at any point in a game are always great. If and when you get them. But, first downs might be the key to success for this team. Bears best offense the first few weeks has been a short field, and even that isn’t a guarantee of 7 points.
For what it’s worth I think both quarterbacks have some upsides and downsides. I just don’t know who is better at this exact moment. Using a platoon approach at quarterback after the bye week might be just enough of a mental headache for opposing defenses to get comfortable. With this defense anything is possible and it can’t be much worse on the offensive side. How long will the inconsistency last on offense? How long can the defense keep this team in every contest?
That is why they play the games.